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Setting Up a New Mailbox for the First Time

You must set up or initialize your voice mailbox before it will record messages from callers, or before you can use other voice mail features. At the same time, you should establish your personal greetings (what callers will hear when you are unable to answer your phone). This is a short process that typically takes less than 5 minutes and the prompts will guide you through the process.

Before You Start

  • Have your password ready: Your password must be 6 to 15 digits. In addition to numbers 0 through 9, you can also use the star (* ) key to create a password. Create a password that you can remember and is hard for others to guess. Do not use numbers that can be easily guessed like your birthday or house address.

  • Have your greeting ready: You have the option of recording messages that you want callers to hear when you are unable to answer your phone. Write a script and practice it so you can record your greeting without stumbles or long pauses. If you have a flexible schedule, consider changing your greeting so your information is always current and reflects your schedule.

Voice Mail setup is dependent upon the type of phone set you use. Click the tab below that lists the phone set you use for the correct instructions.

Note: These instructions are for PennNet Phone only. If you do not record a personal greeting, callers will hear the generic system greeting: “Please leave your message after the tone. When done, hang up or press the pound key.”

Step One: Create Your Password

When initializing your voice mail account for the first time, you must create your password using PPS. Afterwards, you can change your password at anytime using either PPS or by calling into voice mail service.

  1. Log in Leaving Voice website to PPS (PennKey authentication required). For information about this web service, see the PPS page.
  2. At the Home page, click on “Features and Voice Mail” in the left navigation column.
  3. At the Features and Voice Mail Settings page, type a new password in the Create New Password field.
  4. Re-enter your password in the Confirm Password field.
  5. Click the Submit button. PPS updates your account with the new password.
  6. Click "Log Out" in the left navigation column to exit PPS.

Step Two: Record Your Greeting

  1. Using your phone, press the Messages button to the right of the keypad to access voice mail. For instructions on how to access voice mail using a traditional phone or when off campus, see Navigating Voice Mail Shortcuts.
  2. At the prompt, enter your password.
  3. Press 0 for mailbox options.
  4. Follow the prompts to record your personal greeting.
  5. Select the type of greeting you want to record. Record either an unavailable or name greeting. Do not do both:
    • Press 1 for unavailable (what callers will hear when you do not answer your phone).
    • Press 2 for busy (what callers will hear when you’re on the phone)
    • Press 3 for name (callers will hear the generic system greeting but your name will be in your voice).
  6. Wait to hear the system prompt, record your greeting, then press # when you’re done.
  7. Choose the status for the recording:
    • Press 1 to accept this recording
    • Press 2 to listen to it
    • Press 3 to re-record it
  8. When finished, press * to return to main menu or * # to exit.

Step One: Initialize Your Voice Messaging Mailbox

  1. When you know the password you plan to use, call into the voice mailbox system by dialing V-O-I-C-E (8--6423). To initialize your new mailbox, you must call the voice mail system from the phone extension associated with your new mailbox.
  2. When prompted, enter the temporary password given to you when your new mailbox was created. Then press the pound (#) key.
  3. Next, enter the 6 to 15-digit password you've chosen for your account. Then press the pound (#) key.
  4. You will then be prompted to record the name associated with the new mailbox. At the prompt clearly say your name and then press the pound (#) key.
  5. Next the system will prompt you to record your name and personal greeting.
  6. To exit the voice mail system, press the star (*) sign until you hear the prompt say "Good-bye."
Note: The default when creating a new voice mailbox is to forward a caller to voice mail after 3 rings. If you would like to customize forwarding to voice mail, please call the Customer Service Team at 746-6000 or write to

Step Two: Accessing Messages Once Voice Mail Is Activated

Please go to Navigatng Voice Mail Shortcuts to learn more about navigating the voice mail system to review and manage your voice mail messages.


Page updated on January 27, 2010


Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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